Grand National Ultimate History



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12th/28th - ditch 5' 6" W (was 7').


Fr 26 Mar 1926 (3.00) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.36.00 30 £7,635 C. Schwartz

25 1 Jack Horner 9 10-05 J. Leader B. Watkinson 25/1   Always prominent. Virtually disputing lead from 7th through VB 1C but had reverted to being handy by 12th. 6th (of 17) WJ. Headway into 2nd by CT 2C. 4th ABC and still very prominent approaching 29th. Just behind leading pair at last, took 2nd straight after it and led circa Elbow. Ran on well.
21 24 25 2 Old Tay Bridge 12 12-02 F. Hartigan J. Anthony 8/1 3 Very prominent from 1st until left in lead BB 1C. Soon headed and only 8th WJ. Rallied to be 4th CT 2C and further progress to join issue for lead after ABC. Headed just after 29th but disputed lead again last and led straight after it. Decisively done for toe circa Elbow but ran on.
  3 Bright's Boy 7 11-08 G. Blackwell Maj E. Doyle 25/1 1 Always prominent 1C, very much so WJ. 5th CT 2C. Disputed lead from late CS until went ahead just after 29th. Joined by Old Tay Bridge before last, headed & 3rd straight after it. Kept on well.
25 4 Sprig 9 11-07 T. Leader jnr T.E. Leader 5/1F 6 Always prominent. Slightly hampered by the fall of Lone Hand BB 2C & sustained cut to leg. Nevertheless 3rd CT. Mistake 28th. 5th at 29th. Kept on one-paced.
  5 Darracq 11 10-11 P. Woodland F. Gurney 40/1 6 Prominent until led before CT 1C. Sometimes joined but not headed and 3L to the good CT 2C. Joined again just after 28th. Weakened from 29th.
  6 Master Billie 7 10-00 P. Whitaker E. Foster 20/1 2 Became very prominent by CT 1C, 3rd WJ. 6th CT 2C and under too much pressure to stay with leading five by end of CS. Only able to plug on in 6th.
  7 Misconduct 7 10-00 Maj B. Powell B. Parvin 28/1 4 Prominent to CT 1C. Chased leaders in 9th WJ. Plugged on without really threatening 2C and beaten by ABC. Won duel for 7th.
25 8 Thrown In 10 10-11 O. Anthony H. Grosvenor 33/1 HD Mid-division. Progress to be 5th WJ. Unable to maintain that position 2C and beaten by ABC. Just lost out in duel for 7th.
  9 Pop Ahead 8 10-00 V. Smyth S. Regan 66/1   Always mid to rear. Finished tailed off.
25 10 Dwarf Of The Forest 9 10-10 S. Bennet H. Kennard 28/1   Always mid to rear. Finished tailed off.
20 24 11 Gerald L 12 12-02 O. Anthony F. Brookes 40/1   Plum in mid-division for most of 1C, if a little more prominent circa CT & VB. 9th WJ. Similar position 19th & BB 2C. Gradually weakened thereafter and finished tailed off.
  12 Soldier Bill 10 10-00 M. Peacock K. Goode 100/1   Always towards rear. In last pair from before WJ. Gradually became further adrift 2C. Finished well tailed off.
  13 Red Bee 8 10-10 A. Hastings D. Behan 66/1   Always towards rear. In last pair from before WJ. Gradually became further adrift 2C. Finished well tailed off.
25 14R Ben Cruchan 12 11-02 G. Bennett B. Whitbread 66/1   Rear of mid-division, 12th WJ. Still in touch BB 2C, where left 11th, and 9th of leading group of 10 when slight mistake, pitched on landing & UR 26th. Remounted, finished completely tailed off. 
  U Mount Etna 9 11-02 G. Blackwell S. Dennis 100/6 24TH (CT) Slowly away. Had made steady progress to become prominent when slipped on landing Chair, jockey performing a miracle to stay aboard, and dropped to mid-division. Never comfortable after but still with main group when mistake & UR CT 2C.
  F Lone Hand 8 10-00 A. Hedges Tommy Morgan 66/1 22ND (BB) Always very prominent, disputed lead WJ. Still well to the fore in 3rd when fell BB 2C. Broke neck. Dead.
  F Jolly Glad 9 10-00 E. Forwood P. Dennis 50/1 19TH (OD) Never better than mid-division, rear of midfield VB 1C. Still towards back of main group when fell 19th.
  F Test Match 8 10-05 E. Martin jnr P. L'Estrange 66/1 10TH Mid-division through BB 1C but had dropped to rear of midfield by VB 1C, fell next.
23 24 25 U Pencoed 11 10-02 Lt Col F. Lort-Phillips D. Thomas 100/1 9TH (VB) Rear of mid-division until mistake & UR VB 1C.
  R Upton Lad 11 10-08 M. Barthropp B. Dutton 50/1 8TH (CT) Well towards rear when refused CT 1C.
25 R Ardeen 9 11-09 Sir K. Fraser R. Trudgill 33/1 8TH (CT) Away well but soon lost position and well tailed off when refused CT 1C.
  F Koko 8 11-01 A. Bickley T. Hamey 100/8 6TH (BB) Always very prominent, led or disputed lead from 1st and narrowly ahead when fell BB 1C.
  B Cash Box 9 10-00 P. Woodland R. Read 66/1 6TH (BB) Prominent, very much so in 5th when BD by Koko BB 1C.
  F Lee Bridge 9 10-05 F. Withington B. Stott 20/1 6TH (BB) Away well but mid-division when fell BB 1C.
25 F Patsey 12 10-09 B. Gore B. Lemon 66/1 6TH (BB) Away very well but had dropped to rear of mid-division when fell BB 1C.
21 25 F White Surrey 14 10-07 B. Gore M. Farragher 66/1 4TH Led to 1st and still very prominent when fell 4th.
  U Knight Of The Wilderness 6 11-00 M. Cunningham J. Meaney 20/1 3RD (OD) Mid-division until mistake & UR 3rd.
24 25 F Silvo 10 12-07 P. Whitaker D. Rees 7/1 1ST Chased leaders, fell 1st.
  F Wallsend 6 10-07 W. Cameron Cpt H. Lumsden 100/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  U Grecian Wave 8 10-08 J. Morrison Maj J. Wilson 20/1 1ST Mid-division, squeezed up on landing & UR 1st. (Horse then BD by the rising Wallsend.)



Twas another of the Grand National's misty days in 1926 which was a shame for the onlookers because all-round it was a fine renewal that boasted the most finishers since 1909. The pace was very decent and in the main horses could either go it or they could not. Nothing got into the race from behind. By first Becher's there were already half a dozen or so shelled out the back whereas the first six home had always been prominent. There was joy for Aussie born Billy Watkinson at the age of forty. He was a brave, perhaps a little too much so for the well-being of his mount on occasion, and excellent rider of the Aintree course who tragically suffered a fatal fall at Bogside just three weeks later. Jack Leader, one of five brothers four of whom trained, concentrated mainly on the Flat and it was by working Jack Horner with the stable's two year olds that he instilled the turn of foot which proved vital in this National. Jack Horner would break down when in preparation for the 1927 renewal and be retired before 1928's.

At the weights in 1926 the now dual runner-up Old Tay Bridge came out 9 (pounds/lengths) superior to the very promising 7-y-o Bright's Boy, 16 ahead of Sprig, fully fit this year and of whom more had been expected but who raced with a cut leg from second Becher's and erred at the 28th so I will allow him 4, and 22 in advance of Jack Horner whose speed work was only partly responsible for the improvement upon his effort in 1925. Faster ground was likely another component. The going and the pace were extremely similar to what they had been in 1923 and the winning time was identical! Sergeant Murphy's raw figure for that year was -39, the comparatively slightly stiffer jumping test of 1926 is offset by a tad of general athletic improvement, and Jack Horner carried 12lb less than The Sergeant. Therefore, Jack Horner's performance is rated -51, Old Tay Bridge earns -29 (1 less than he got in 1925), Bright's Boy gets -38 and Sprig -41 (almost a stone better than last year when he was short of work). For the record, after a relatively bunched finish untypical of the era, Darracq merits -61, Thrown In -67, Master Billie -74 and Misconduct -78. 









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling